Mini carrots, purple carrots, crème de lite carrots, standard orange carrots, early carrots and storage carrots… At Brocker Gruppe in Willich, everything is about carrots!
On our way to Brocker, we made an appointment with Mario Brocker. As you approach Willich, you can’t help but notice that everything here is about carrots. As we drive through the farm’s main entrance, we’re surprised by the size of it but quickly realize that this is one of Agrifac’s larger customers. The farm was established over 60 years ago by Matthias Brocker when he founded the company in Willich, North-Rhine Westphalia, in the 1950s. At the age of 16, Hans Brocker, founder of Hans Brocker KG, took over the small company. For 40 years, he built up the company and developed a total concept that groups four other divisions under Brocker Möhren, creating a comprehensive total concept that covers everything from soil cultivation and sowing, to growing and harvesting, through to preparation and delivery. Today, the farm is run by the third generation of Brockers
Lots of carrots
Mario Brocker, the manager of Mario Brocker Möhrenerzeugerbetrieb, is responsible for the first steps in this supply chain. His farm grows the carrots, looks after them and harvests them. Each year, Mario Brocker, together with other carrot growers, produces some 90,000 tons of carrots on 2,500 acres of land. Their range of products is much bigger than I imagined. The carrot expert not only grows today’s famous orange carrots but also mini carrots, purple carrots and cream-coloured carrots. They also grow storage carrots in order to cover the consumers’ demand year round.
Storage carrots can be kept crispy fresh for up to 6 months so consumers can enjoy carrots throughout the winter and up until late spring. Brocker starts storing the vegetables in the big barns from mid-September. The next carrots are scheduled to be harvested in two months. After they’ve been harvested, they are cleaned and manually sorted by the processing and packing company Hans Brocker KG. The carrots are distributed around the world by the farm’s own transport company, Brocker-Logistik. This company is also run by the third generation of Brockers. The company’s logistics division is run by Mario’s brother Hans-Jürgen Brocker. His fleet of 40 refrigerated lorries transports and delivers only the family’s carrots to wholesalers and retailers.
It’s all in the soil
‘It’s all in the soil,’ is Mario Brocker’s motto. Carrots need good soil and the right care. To ensure the carrots get the right care while they’re growing, the farm bought a new Agrifac Condor last year. They’ve been very happy with Agrifac’s basic system, the StabiloPlus chassis, for 14 years, which is why they decided last year to buy a new Agrifac Condor. Sebastian Grosch drives this Condor. He tells us that the company has 100 fields spread over an area of a radius of 50 kilimoters. Driving comfort therefore played a prominent role in the purchase decision. He particularly likes the GPS function that automatically switches off the nozzles. This is really useful as it ensures that every carrot growing on the sloping fields gets exactly what it needs.
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